Weddings and elopements in North Wales should be about immersing yourself in the stunning surroundings and feeling at one with nature.
As a professional, independent celebrant and adventure enthusiast, I love it when couples come to me with unique ideas for outdoor ceremonies, and beach weddings are one of my absolute favourites.
Perfect for barefoot ceremonies and feeling connected with the ocean, you can return to your ceremony location again and again to relive the magic.
When you think of a beach wedding, North Wales may not be the first place that springs to mind, but explore a little and you will soon find some of the most stunning stretches of sand in the UK. In fact, there are so fabulous beaches in North Wales, that I really struggled to narrow down my list!
Beautiful and extremely photogenic, the suggestions below will guarantee your wedding pictures will stand out for all the right reasons!
Newborough Beach and Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey
Anglesey is renowned for some of the most pristine beaches in North Wales. Newborough is certainly one of them. Providing beautiful views of Snowdonia and the Llŷn Peninsula, it stretches 3.5 miles along the southwest coast of Anglesey. The length of the beach means, even at peak times, the beach doesn’t feel busy and you can find a quiet spot. This beach and its surroundings are sooooooo photogenic, I simply had to include lots of pictures to help you get a feel for it!
A 25-minute walk along Newborough Beach takes you to Llanddwyn Island, a narrow peninsula, cut off at high tides and the home of St Dwynwen (the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers). It’s a particularly romantic spot with views of Snowdonia and the Llŷn Peninsula. There are several beautiful bays you can choose for your ceremony. Last time I did a wedding there we were privileged to be joined by two seals swimming by mid-ceremony!
If you’ve always fancied a woodland wedding, or are simply looking to create some enchanting photographs, Newborough Forest is set back from the beach. The trees create a magical atmosphere, as well as providing a little protection if the weather turns.
Access to Newborough and Llanddwyn Island is from the Forestry Commission car parks dotted along the length of the beach at different locations. Some are pay and display, while others are free (for more information see: https://naturalresources.wales/days-out/places-to-visit/north-west-wales/newborough/?lang=en). Depending on the time of year and location on the beach, dog restrictions may be in place.
Aberffraw Beach, Anglesey
If you are looking for somewhere a little quieter, Aberffraw Beach (or Traeth Mawr as it is known to locals) is a beautiful, sandy beach on the west coast of Anglesey, to the north of Newborough.
Bring your paddleboards, pick your ceremony spot, and enjoy the beautiful beachy backdrop with the hills of the Llŷn Peninsula in the distance. Simply stunning!
I was lucky enough to do Cara and Suzy's beach ceremony at Aberffraw. Cara and Suzy planned a beautiful family elopement and made their own wedding arch out of reclaimed driftwood.
Behind Aberffraw Beach stretches an extensive dune system. The dune marram grass provides a fantastic backdrop for some additional wedding or elopement photographs that will really capture the essence of your day.
The dunes are also a designated Site of Special Scientific (SSSI), rich in bio-diverse plants and insects (for more information see: https://www.visitanglesey.co.uk/en/things-to-do/activities/wildlife-aberffraw-dunes-and-traeth-mawr-beach/#.YVBn1lVKiUk).
To access the beach, you will need to park by the village and follow the River Ffraw (Afon Ffraw) half a mile down a sandy estuary to the main beach. At the time of writing, this beach is dog-friendly year-round.
Talacre Beach, Prestatyn
Closer to England, but no less spectacular is Talacre Beach, Prestatyn.
The beach has miles of golden sand with plenty of space for a beach ceremony. The beach can get a little busier in peak summer months, however, due to the close proximity of several holiday parks. Dominating the skyline is the Point of Ayr lighthouse, which becomes cut off at high tide.
If you fancy a beach wedding, followed by the convenience of a reception led venue, then The Beaches Hotel (https://www.thebeacheshotel.com/weddings) is close at hand to provide you and your guests with everything you need for your reception.
Conwy Morfa is an incredible, wide-open, clean, sandy beach in close proximity to Conwy Town. The backdrop in every direction is fantastic including views of Conwy Mountain, Westshore, The Great Orme and Puffin Island, Anglesey. It has a wild feel, backed by sand dunes, but is close to Conwy’s amenities and accommodation. The beach itself is expansive, especially at low tide. The shallow gradient makes it ideal for couples and families who want to dip their toes in the sea after the ceremony!
The Mulberry Pub (https://mulberryconwy.pub/functions/) and Signatures Restaurant (https://darwinescapes.co.uk/aberconwy-resort-spa/facilities/signatures-restaurant/) are walking distance from the beach if you are looking for a simple yet convenient reception/wedding breakfast.
The Llŷn Peninsula
The coast of the Llŷn Peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty with numerous beautiful clean sandy beaches dotted around the coast.
Picking your ideal beach ceremony spot will come down to what else you are looking for from your wedding.
Fashionable Abersoch has a fantastic, sheltered main beach, but it is very popular. Nonetheless, if accommodation, facilities and accessibility are your priorities, it does tick the boxes.
Porth Oer (Whistling Sands) is a small, pretty, sandy cove, with beautiful views from the surrounding cliffs. The beach is known as Whistling Sands as a result of the sound made by the grains of sand underfoot. Access is via a National Trust car park. Dog restrictions operate in the summer months.
Finally, Porth Iago is well worth considering if you are looking for a quieter spot. Porth Iago is a bit of a hidden gem. One of the prettiest beaches in the area, the bay is sheltered between the headlands of Dinas and Graig Ddu and has crystal clear water, great for a pre-or post-ceremony paddle or swim! Access to the beach is either via the Wales Coast Path via a scramble down the dunes, or via a private farm track leading to a car park.
If the above suggestions don't tick your boxes, don't despair. These are a mere snapshot of some of the stunning beaches we are lucky enough to have here in North Wales. So, if you need some more advice or inspiration, say hello, get in touch, and let's make your dream beach wedding happen!